An economically viable solution to geofencing for mass-market applications



Geofencing services deliver location-relevant information to mobile subscribers, who enter a geographic “fence” or boundary around the information's demarcation area. With Geographic Positioning System (GPS) capabilities on many phones, such services facilitate a variety of mass-market applications ranging from mobile proximity marketing to proximity-based dating. Applications delivering such services operate on top of a geofencing engine that manages location tracking of subscribers and returns triggers when fence-crossing events occur. We discuss the critical aspects of geofencing and the challenges faced when deploying such services to the mass market. We present an economically viable geofencing solution that scales to large populations and supports a high number of fences per subscriber. Through distributed processing supported by an appropriate client-server protocol, this solution optimizes the air interface usage and mobile battery power. The technical viability of our solution is supported by actual traffic data from mobile proximity marketing and a social networking service. © 2011 Alcatel-Lucent.